Carole Kerr of Naperville, Illinois, has always been a reader. So when she first started thinking about converting to Judaism, she read everything she could on the subject. But Carole knew she had to do more than simply read about Judaism.
"My rabbi pointed out that there's a difference between having Judaism in your heart and having it in your hands," she recalls. The first time Carole went to a Hadassah meeting, the meaning of the rabbi's words clicked. Here were women doing things—locally and in Israel. Carole had found her way into a Jewish community that held meaning for her.
Carole began paying annual dues, but she never imagined herself as a major donor. "The dues were $25, and I thought, ‘Well, I won't be a big giver, but I can afford $25.'" As Carole became more involved, she began realizing just how much work Hadassah does around the world, and particularly how game-changing Hadassah's work is in the Middle East.
"I suddenly realized that by being part of Hadassah, I was part of changing the world," Carole says. "It comes down to the Jewish value of tikkun olam. I may be a small part of it, but this is an organization that does tikkun olam on a grand scale."
Inspired, Carole began searching for ways to make a bigger impact. "It had long been a goal of mine to be a major donor for a cause I believed in," she says, "but I had no idea how I'd ever make that happen." Not so long ago, Carole was newly divorced with only $500 in the bank. It was nearly impossible to imagine that she would ever join the ranks of Hadassah's Society of Major Donors.
Ever the reader, Carole picked up an issue of Hadassah's planned giving newsletter, Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow and learned about how, through a charitable gift annuity, she could support Hadassah and receive fixed payments for life. Hadassah's annuity program allows someone of Carole's means to make a significant gift to Hadassah.
"For me, a charitable gift annuity was the right decision," Carole reflects. "I don't have a Jewish family of origin; Hadassah has become my Jewish family. It has given me so much. I'm so happy to be able to give back."
Join With Other Supporters
Contact Planned Giving at 800-428-8884 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how you can give back to your Hadassah family by establishing a charitable gift annuity or another legacy gift.